We’re all still recovering from that explosive Vanderpump Rules Season 11

We’re all still recovering from that explosive Vanderpump Rules Season 11 finale. The aftershow, Watch What Happens Live, and the reunion previews didn’t help. With the show on an extended hiatus, there’s gonna be some time to stew over the events of the post-Scandoval season.

There’s no denying that the show fundamentally changed after Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval’s breakup. Before, during, and after the season, we had a lot of questions about how the show could go forward. Now that it’s over, we still have those same questions, and many more as well.

Why was the cast so insistent on Ariana and Sandoval having a conversation?

Why did Ariana’s co-stars act like she personally canned the whole show because she didn’t want to talk to Sandoval? Pump Rules has never been a show about everyone getting along. Viewers have always complained when moments are forced and overly produced. As Ariana said, Sandoval never tried to speak to her off-camera. So why should she force a conversation that’s entirely performative?

Historically, Vanderpump Rules managed to get around people filming together. Stassi Schroeder and Jax Taylor refused to speak to each other for years. They didn’t hash things out until Season 5. Stassi and Katie Maloney also avoided each other for an entire year.

Clearly, producers wanted to recreate the scene between Kristen Doute and Sandoval in Season 3. But the circumstances are way different. Also, that scene was just…Sandoval fake crying. Did anyone want more of that? The most memorable part of that Season 3 convo was, to me, Kristen’s delusion that she and Sandoval would get back together. And it was followed up with Miami Girl’s arrival, an iconic scene that features…Ariana and Sandoval walking away.

I know some viewers are more on Sandoval’s side than Ariana’s. But no matter which team they’re on, did anyone want to see these two sit down and hash it out? We already know what a sit-down between Ariana and Sandoval would look like. We’ve seen it before.

If the entire existence of the show depends on one conversation, the other cast members didn’t do their job of creating additional exciting storylines. I don’t know if producers told the cast that the show lived or died based on this convo, but it makes no sense that Ariana walking out caused so many meltdowns and months of shady comments.

Why is Lala so angry at Ariana?

The short answer? Probably jealousy. Even then, it’s a little over the top, considering Ariana hasn’t done anything to Lala Kent personally.

Why isn’t Lala angrier at Sandoval, the man who cheated on Ariana in the first place? Shouldn’t he get some blame for Ariana becoming a “god” after that? He also refused to leave their house. And for the last time, “he didn’t kill anyone” is not a good argument. The bar should not be that low. By that logic, Randall Emmett also didn’t kill anyone.

Lala claims that she’s mad because Ariana wasn’t authentic. Even if we look beyond hiding her relationship with Rand, which Lala claims she now regrets, is Lala authentic? Was she genuine this season? In the first episode, she reached out to Rachel Leviss. She befriended Sandoval and Tom Schwartz out of nowhere. Her lunch with Jo Wenberg was obviously producer-mandated. When Katie called this out, Lala yelled, “It’s not my job for my life to make sense to you”. The hypocrisy all season was frustrating to watch.

Follow-up question, why in the world did Lala initially say her words were taken out of context?

Was this season really supposed to be a Sandoval redemption arc?

One of the biggest complaints from viewers this season was the supposed Sandoval redemption arc. It wasn’t completely surprising that production went this way. According to Stassi, producers were always too kind to Sandoval. And Rachel used her podcast to discuss the ways he was protected.

Judging by Sandoval’s hot mic moment, he absolutely thought the redemption was in the bag. But showing the hot mic moment was not flattering to him. He’s already on the defensive. Plus, he had plenty of cringe-worthy moments this season. Remember when producers called out his battery obsession?

The cast also seemed to expect a redemption arc. All season long, Lala and Scheana Shay promised on their podcasts that viewers would change their minds. Ariana also admitted she expected to be the villain. But it seems that most VPR fans stuck to the opinion they had at the start. Those who were tired of Ariana aren’t any less tired of her. And those who supported her are still firmly on her side.

Was that the series finale?

After that montage of the cast’s early days, it sure seemed like one! But apparently, the answer to this question is no. Despite the season’s negative reception, ratings are still pretty good, and it’s the most-watched season on Peacock.

Sources claim that a cast shakeup is imminent. What that looks like is anyone’s guess. Bravo already cut a lot of stars this year, so they’re not fooling around. Will Ariana and Katie go because they’re at odds with everyone else? Will Lala and Scheana join The Valley? Or will the show get a reboot and return to its roots of following the actual servers at SUR?

Hopefully, this doesn’t mean forcing new people out of nowhere like in Season 8. The Valley proves that this group has plenty of drama within their existing social circles.

While we wait to hear the future of Vanderpump Rules, you can stream Season 11 on Peacock.


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